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.circleci Update cuda 10 base image, add opengl and opengl/cuda base images, cl… Nov 12, 2019
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languages Updates to docstrings and SDK docs for recent change to reference_get() Nov 19, 2019
lua-scripts lua-scripts: initial addition Nov 7, 2019
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utilities/atom-cli Python support for available commands of elements Jul 1, 2019
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.gitignore Fix for concurrency bug in element, and corresponding test Jun 4, 2019
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Dockerfile-atom Update cuda 10 base image, add opengl and opengl/cuda base images, cl… Nov 12, 2019
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Dockerfile-install-cudnn Update cuda 10 base image, add opengl and opengl/cuda base images, cl… Nov 12, 2019
Dockerfile-nucleus Nucleus:added atom-cli requirements in Dockerfile Feb 12, 2019
LICENSE atom: Add LICENSE Mar 30, 2019 Update Circle variables in README Nov 13, 2019
docker-compose.yml docker-compose: comment out source link Oct 7, 2019 atom: initial docker implementation Oct 30, 2018
redis.conf redis.conf: max memory bump to 4gb Oct 31, 2019

Atom SDK CircleCI


This repo contains the following:

  1. Docker files to create atom-base, atom and nucleus docker images
  2. Source code for all atom language libraries
  3. Examples for how to use atom in creating elements and apps.
  4. Source documentation for the Atom Docs Site
  5. A Wiki Page which contains links to github and docker repos for all known elements that have been released.


Please see The Atom Documentation for a comprehensive set of docs that cover the following:

  1. Design goals and SDK features
  2. The full Atom specification
  3. Tutorials on how to use Atom
  4. Tutorials on Docker and Docker-Compose
  5. Documentation for elements that have been added to the Atom ecosystem.

The documentation is rebuilt nightly on CircleCI and, when built, pulls the latest documentation from each element that it's linked to. To add an element to the documentation build, simply add the line below to the docs Dockerfile

COPY --from=$dockerhub_org/$dockerhub_repo /code/ /elements_docs/$

Please help us keep the documentation up-to-date and accurate! You'll find a docker-compose file in the doc folder that will build and launch a local copy of the docs server that can be used to develop and test documentation updates. Once launched, the server can be accessed at localhost:4567.

Redis Talks and Slides

Please see the Redis Talks and Slides page of the wiki for video and slides from the talks that have been given on Atom at various Redis conferences.


In this repository is a docker-compose file that can build and launch both the nucleus image and the atom image.

Initializing Submodules

Before beginning, you'll want to initialize all submodules

git submodule update --init --recursive

Building Containers

In order to build the container, use docker-compose

docker-compose build

This will build both the nucleus image and the atom image and will create the following tags:



It's best to do all developmental testing and building within the docker containers. The easiest way to do this is to mount the current directory into the latest atom image that's been built and continue development in there until you're ready to rebuild. For more details refer to Atom's docker-compose docs.

For example, mount your local Atom source directory to /development in the atom image by adding a volume entry to the atom service in the docker-compose file:

      - ".:/development"

The recommended workflow for development is then to execute:

docker-compose up -d
docker exec -it dev_atom bash

This will open up a shell within the most recent dev_atom you've built (or you can specify a tag or even the atom-base container if you'd like) and mount your current source folder in /development. Then you may compile/run code (such as unit tests of a new feature) from within the container while editing the source in a different shell session running outside of the container. Note that typically you'll need to restart/reinstall the service that you're developing from within the container in order for your code edits to take effect (For example, run python3 install between edits to the Python3 language client).

Debugging with gdb

If you want to be able to run gdb in docker, add the below to your docker command:



In order to test the images, we'll again use docker-compose to launch containers of the images we built. This will also create a shared tmpfs volume that the containers will share in order to use the redis unix socket as opposed to using redis via TCP. This should theoretically give us better performance.

In order to launch the test container you can run:

docker-compose up -d

This will launch the necessary containers and make the shared volume and background everything. Then, to run the tests you care about you can run:

docker exec -it -w ${COMMAND_WORKING_DIRECTORY} dev_atom ${TEST_COMMAND}

An example of the above, to run the python unit tests is

docker exec -it -w /atom/languages/python dev_atom pytest

After running the tests, to bring down the environment you can run:

docker-compose down -v

This will shut down the containers, remove them and also take down the shared volume that was created for the redis socket.

Continuous Integration (CI) and Deployment

Upon pushing to github, a build will be started on CircleCI. This will build both the nucleus and atom images and will run any implemented unit tests against them.

If the build and tests pass, the images will be pushed to dockerhub. Depending on the branch, they will be tagged as so:

branch tag
master master-${CIRCLE_BUILD_NUM}
Non-master development-${CIRCLE_BUILD_NUM}

When master is built, the images will also be tagged and pushed as latest.

Configuring CircleCI

For a generic element

If you're looking for the general CircleCI config docs for elements, see the CircleCI README

To build this repo

If you've forked this repository and/or made an element and want to set up the build chain on CircleCI (recommended), please follow the steps below:

  1. Push your repo to github
  2. Log into CircleCI using your github account and start building the process on CircleCI. The first build will likely fail since there are a few things you need to configure.
  3. Add the following envirnoment variables to your CircleCI build. Note that some of these variables are needed only to rebuild the atom repo and some are needed for any element you want to build.
Variable Required for which builds? Description
DOCKERHUB_ORG all Organization you want your docker containers pushed to
DOCKERHUB_USER all Username of the account with permissions to push to your build repos. It's recommended to make a separate user for this so you don't risk exposing your personal credentials
DOCKERHUB_PASSWORD all Password for DOCKERHUB_USER. Will be injected into the build and used to login.
DOCKERHUB_REPO elements only Which repo in DOCKERHUB_ORG to push to
DOCKERHUB_ATOM_REPO atom repo only If you're rebuilding atom, which repo to put the atom container into
DOCKERHUB_NUCLEUS_REPO atom repo only If you're rebuilding atom, which repo to put the nucleus container into
DOCKERHUB_DOCS_REPO atom repo only If you're rebuilding atom, which repo to put the built docs container into
DOCKERHUB_ATOM_OPENGL_REPO atom repo only If you're rebuilding atom, which repo to put the built atom container with OpenGL support into
DOCKERHUB_ATOM_CUDA_10_REPO atom repo only If you're rebuilding atom, which repo to put the built atom container with CUDA 10 support into
DOCKERHUB_ATOM_OPENGL_CUDA_10_REPO atom repo only If you're rebuilding atom, which repo to put the built atom container with OpenGL + CUDA 10 support into
HEROKU_API_KEY atom repo only If you're rebuilding atom, secret API key to use to push the docs container to heroku for deployment. You can host your own version of the docs site pretty easily by making a new heroku app and pushing the docs container to it using our deploy script
HEROKU_APP_NAME atom repo only Name of the heroku app to which you're deploying the docs container
  1. If you're only interested and not running any deploy steps, simply remove the Docker Login and Docker tag and push steps from the circleci file and you don't need to configure any of the above.


The atom language clients in the languages folder all implement the atom specification. See the documents for more information on the spec.

Creating a new language client

To create a new language client, you must do the following:

  1. Add a folder in languages for the new language client
  2. Implement the atom spec atop a redis client for the language.
  3. Modify dockerfile-atom-base to compile msgpack for the language.
  4. Modify dockerfile-atom to compile/install the language into the docker image. You will also need to bump the tag for dockerfile-atom-base in this file.
  5. Write a README on how to use the language client
  6. Write unit tests for the language client
  7. Modify .circleci/config.yml to run the unit tests for the language client.
  8. Open a PR with the above changes.

Creating an app or element


An element creator who simply uses libraries should never have to modify this repo. Each element should be placed in its own repository that's been initialized to the contents of the template folder. In the template folder you'll find the following:

  1. .circleci folder with config for automated build/deployment
  2. Dockerfile that imports from the most recent atom image
  3. docker-compose.yml which specifies the dependencies of the element or app. This dependency tree will contain the nucleus and all of the other elements that need to be launched in order for the new app/element to be launched.
  4. README example README.
  5. This is expected to be filled out with the command(s) to launch your element/app. An example of what could be put in this file would be:


Base Dockerfile

The atom dockerfile is developed atop the atom-base dockerfile which isn't built in CI. This dockerfile contains things which are more static such as basic ubuntu installs using apt-get and the installation of msgpack. This saves us time on our CI rebuild changes. The process for updating the atom-base docker container if needed are:

  1. Commit any changes to the base dockerfile. You MUST commit the changes since the image tag will depend on the latest git hash.
  2. Rebuild the atom-base image and the OpenGL/cuda base images (see next section). For example, rebuild atom-base using:
docker build --no-cache -f Dockerfile-atom-base -t elementaryrobotics/atom-base:"$(git rev-parse HEAD)" .
  1. Push the new atom-base image and the OpenGL/cuda base images (see next section) to dockerhub. For example, push atom-base to elementaryrobotics/atom-base with the command below:
docker push elementaryrobotics/atom-base:"$(git rev-parse HEAD)"
  1. Bump the dependency in Dockerfile-atom to use the new tag from atom-base.

OpenGL and Cuda support

We also build base versions of the dockerfile for OpenGL and cuda / cuDNN. To build for these versions, pass BASE_IMAGE=$X the following to the above docker build command:

Cuda Version cuDNN Version Dockerhub repo Base Image
- - atom-opengl-base nvidia/opengl:1.0-glvnd-runtime-ubuntu18.04
10.0 atom-cuda-10-base nvidia/cuda:10.0-cudnn7-runtime-ubuntu18.04
10.0 atom-opengl-cuda-10-base custom, see below*

An example to build for Cuda 10 / cudnn would be:

docker build --no-cache -f Dockerfile-atom-base -t elementaryrobotics/atom-cuda-10-base:"$(git rev-parse HEAD)" --build-arg BASE_IMAGE=nvidia/cuda:10.0-cudnn7-runtime-ubuntu18.04 .

The combined OpenGL/cuda/cuDNN base image can be built in two steps, with the first step utilizing the included dockerfile Dockerfile-install-cudnn (modify this file for cuDNN version updates):

docker build --no-cache -f Dockerfile-install-cudnn -t opengl-cuda-10-base .
docker build --no-cache -f Dockerfile-atom-base -t elementaryrobotics/atom-opengl-cuda-10-base:"$(git rev-parse HEAD)" --build-arg BASE_IMAGE=opengl-cuda-10-base .
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